Nvidia Shield TV
£189 • nvidia.co.uk
CES 2017 was full of new TVs from the likes of Samsung, Sony and LG but what about some cool products to plug into them. Well Nvidia has a new version of its media streamer – Shield TV.
The new model of the Shield TV looks basically identical to the original so you’d be forgiven for confusing the two. It’s still black with a slightly angular design with the Nvidia green lighting. As mentioned above, the Pro model comes with a 500GB hard drive if you need it. Otherwise, the
regular Shield TV has 16GB and this time around does not have the SD upgrade option which may annoy some.
The biggest news in terms of specs and features is that the Shield TV 2017 support 4K HDR playback which the firm was demonstrating at CES. It looks fantastically detailed and smooth, too. 4K HDR is supported when streaming from Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, but you can still stream Ultra HD from the likes of Google Play, and YouTube. This can all be done at 60fps.
Inside, things are pretty similar to the original Shield TV as the 2017 model is powered by Nvidia’s own Tegra X1 processor again. It’s 256-core CPU and the device has 3GB of RAM to accompany it. Nvidia says the Shield TV is three times more powerful than any other on the market.
It certainly ran smoothly during our hands-on time at CES, even when streaming 4K gaming from a PC. This is another feature which will tempt gamers. Users can stream games in up to 4K HDR quality (the original was limited to 1080p) from their GTX-powered PC rig using Nvidia GameStream. We tried this with Titanfall 2 and experiences zero lag.
If you don’t happen to have a beefy GTX rig in your possession then don’t worry because Nvidia has a solution for you. Using GeForce Now, gamers can stream PC games from the cloud to the Shield TV with the power of Pascal.
Add to the list of features the fact that the new improved controller can be used with your PC as well as the Shield TV thanks to Bluetooth – Nvidia says it has a 60+ hour battery life. Both the gaming controller and remote have built-in microphones
for voice search and interaction. The new model is runs the Android 7.0 Nougat version of Android TV so you have access to a wealth of apps via the Play Store and there are plenty of other handy features. The Shield TV 2017 comes with Google Cast 4K built-in so you can easily cast content from devices like your smartphone (Android or iOS) as if you had a Chromecast.
Google Assistant and Spot
Support for the Google Assistant is ‘coming soon’ so you can interact with Google, asking questions and performing tasks like ordering an Uber, switching lights on or off and adjusting a smart thermostat. Google also announced the Spot (right), an accessory for the Shield TV which some will find very useful. It’s a small and unassuming little
thing which plugs directly into a power socket. It’s essentially an easy way of using Google Assistant anywhere in the home thanks to its built-in microphone and speaker.
The Nvidia Shield TV is impressive. Users will benefit from the 4K HDR quality and Google Assistant will make it even more useful when it arrives. Whether existing owners need to upgrade is another matter though. Chris Martin
Android 7.0 Nougat (Android TV) Nvidia Tegra X1 processor with a 256-core GPU 3GB RAM Up to 4K HDR playback at 60fps 16GB and 500GB storage options 802.11ac 2x2 MIMO 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi Bluetooth 4.1 LE 2x USB 3.0, Micro-USB 2.0 210x130x25mm, 654g